Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 49

Thread: Food and what we take in

  1. #21
    Join Date
    September 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Age
    68
    Posts
    7,191
    Rep Power
    5035

    Re: Food and what we take in

    Namaste Hiwaunis: Unless the Indian restaurant is declared as a vegetarian one, there is a great likelihood that their 'vegetarian fare' is at least cooked in dishes that are also used for meat. You can ask the host, I suppose. There is no standard 'vegetarianism according to the scriptures' in Hinduism, because of the wide variety of scriptures, guru teachings etc. The onion/garlic debate above is a good example above. It can be found "don't eat garlic' in sripture, and yet other scriptures don't mention it.
    I think most prepackaged food is inferior to 'organic and fresh' , but that too would vary a lot on what you mean by prepackaging. Frozen or dried foods, for example lose far less of their nutrients than canned food. As far as the spiciness is concerned, if you cook your own food fresh, you can add as little or as much spice as you wish. Spices also vary according to geography within India, and even moreso within the British 'indentured labour history' places like Fiji and the Caribbean. Personally, my most common Indian food is South Indian, and I find it often has too much oil and salt for my health liking. I love the taste, but remember, we are not feeding our tastebuds, we're feeding our bodies, and there is more and more scientific evidence supporting that we eat too much salt. And SUGAR, but that's another post in itself. AUM Namashivaya

  2. #22

    Re: Food and what we take in

    Om Shanti,
    I would love to cook my own food but I don't know the names of most of the vegetarian Indian foods or spices. I don't want to eat onions or garlic because I can smell it on other people's body and breath. I don't want to take the chance of being offensive.

    Any input on where I can get some good recipes from?

    Namaste,
    Hiwaunis

  3. #23
    Join Date
    September 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Age
    68
    Posts
    7,191
    Rep Power
    5035

    Re: Food and what we take in

    Hiwaunis: All the major bookstores would have Indian cookbooks. So does Amazon.com. If you have access to an Indian grocery, that would be a good place to start. The spices are different, and often would not be in regular smaller western stores. The common dhal of the south is the same as the red lentil you do find in western shops in the beans and lentil section. It is easy to cook. My advice would be to get out there and ask, I guess. Depends where you are in the US. A lot of the veggies are the same..cauliflower, potato etc, and you can basically use any vegetable in any recipe. Coriander is the same thing as cilantro (mexican.. think guacomole). I know when we lived 120 miles from a major city, when we did get to the city, we stocked up at an Indian store. Good luck. Aum Namashivaya

  4. #24
    Join Date
    August 2006
    Age
    70
    Posts
    3,162
    Rep Power
    1912

    Re: Food and what we take in

    Namaste Hiwaunis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiwaunis View Post
    Om Shanti,
    I would love to cook my own food but I don't know the names of most of the vegetarian Indian foods or spices.

    Any input on where I can get some good recipes from?
    Hiwaunis
    Here are two good books of vegetarian recipes of Indian/South Indian food:

    Cooking Manual (Recipes Collection)
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/f834649c-1...631aa6/cooking

    Covers over 300 dishes of meals and snacks!

    Chapati (The Indian Bread)
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/8229f198-8...dcbb4b/chapati

    For packed Indian vegetarian food, check:
    http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=311

    Other links to vegetarian food in general:

    7 Mistakes Even Safe Cooks Make (Anna Roufous)
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/721ac50e-e...afe-Cooks-Make

    The Allinson Vegetarian Cookbook
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/6dcc6ebe-2...arian-Cookbook

    A Taste of Vitality (Mark Foy)
    http://www.vitalita.com/docs/ATasteOfVitality.pdf

    Chinese Vegetarian Cooking Recipes
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/61643904-7...ooking-Recipes

    Healthy Recipes
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/f67f108a-4...af73b6/Recipes

    Your Guide to Becoming a Vegetarian
    http://www.theobesityproject.com/Bonus/vegetarian.pdf

    Some popular Websites of this category:
    http://www.bawarchi.com/contribution/contrib4977.html
    http://www.recipezaar.com/75760
    http://vegweb.com/
    http://ramsss.com/

  5. #25
    Join Date
    September 2006
    Age
    69
    Posts
    7,705
    Rep Power
    220

    Re: Food and what we take in

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by Hiwaunis View Post
    Om Shanti,
    I would love to cook my own food but I don't know the names of most of the vegetarian Indian foods or spices. I don't want to eat onions or garlic because I can smell it on other people's body and breath. I don't want to take the chance of being offensive. Any input on where I can get some good recipes from? Namaste,
    Hiwaunis

    Namste Hiwaunis,

    Thank saidevo for his reference list... excellent.
    IMHO starting simple is good. What is simple? Rice + Beans + Veggies.
    You can't imagine how many things you can do with this. Dhal is very easy to make... Dhal over rice is a great meal. With steamed veggies on the side, you have meal 1 ready to go.


    Now how much spice do you like is key as you can add as you see fit. For me I put in oh 8 to 10 spices ( that does not mean hot).

    Some like dhal with mung bean, some made of lentil, etc. Rice can be white or brown. For me, I also add ghee ( ghurta). It stimulates ojas, balances the dathus ( from ayurved) , etc. so does the spices. My intent to to nurish and insure I can offer the 6 tastes to the body while enjoying the meal.
    6 tastes:
    Sweet
    Sour
    Salty
    Astringent
    Pungent
    Bitter

    Interesting to note that these 6 tastes address the graha's (planets)...
    Ghee is nourishing to all body types and is increases ojas that is fundamental to overall well being, so the experts say.

    Many can inform you on how to make dhal ... this can be your start
    a. http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/recipe.cgi?r=89471 b. http://www.theepicentre.com/Recipes/idhal.html
    - you do not have to add any ingredient you do not want to ingest, it still turns out good; subsititute the celery for the onions, is one idea.

    If this is too much for square one, then steamed veggies on top of rice (add ghee to the boiling of the rice, a tablespoon or 2) and you are good to go. Add a few pinches of turmeric to the water also and you've yellow rice.

    What are my favorite herbs that are tasty , nutritional and good for ones body constitution?
    basil
    ginger ( ignites agni for digestion)
    turmeric
    cinnamon
    sage
    bay leaf power
    coriander
    dill ( most excellent!)
    mustard seeds a and powder
    fennel
    paprika
    cumin
    fenugreek (power)
    oregano
    curry powder (as it contains many of the things above)

    One needs to experiment with the mixtures - for me, always starting simple works. A pinch of this, and pinch of that to see what goes together.


    Other stuff I use and add in.
    Sesame seeds
    fenugreek seeds
    black sesames
    poppy seeds
    ghee as mentioned


    what I use sparingly to not at all, due to my body constitution
    - salt and pepper
    - garlic
    - onions
    - mushrooms
    - pickles ( too much sour influence)

    hope this helps... just a few ideas.

    pranams,
    Last edited by yajvan; 23 September 2007 at 12:57 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  6. #26

    Thumbs Up Re: Food and what we take in

    Om Shanti,
    Thank you everyone! This is exactly the information that I was looking for! Definitely most excellent!

    Namaste,
    Hiwaunis

  7. #27
    Join Date
    August 2006
    Age
    70
    Posts
    3,162
    Rep Power
    1912

    Re: Food and what we take in

    Come with Me and Partake a South Indian Meal

    A South Indian meal is a blend of tastes, flavours, nutrition and spirituality. Partaking it is an experience for the body, mind and spirit.

    Having been invited to partake a South Indian Meal in the home of a traditional brahmin family and gladly accepting it, we both visit a house in the agrahAram of a village where the Hindu tradition and culture is flourishing eternally, rejecting all counter influences. (Whether such a village exists in South India today is a difficult question to answer, but we are partaking only a virtual, what-it-used-to-be sort of South Indian meal here).

    Welcoming the guests

    The 'you' in this narrative is anyone who is unfamiliar with the experience of partaking a traditional South Indian meal, typically a Western non-Hindu. The 'family' we are visiting is a vedic brahmin family. Though orthodox, the elders of the family are only too glad to invite us to dine with them.

    I have already briefed you about the prevailing Hindu dining customs that include sitting cross-legged on the floor, using only the right hand to pick up and eat, not to sip the water straight from the tumbler but to raise the tumbler and pour water into your mouth, waiting till all the dishes are served and the elders start eating after a prayer, remaining silent during the meal session and so on, so you wouldn't find it too hard or odd to follow suit.

    The head of the family ('Father' henceforth) and his 'old man' ('Grandpa' henceforth) welcome us at their raised portico called 'thiNNai', joining their palms and saying "vAngo! (please come)" in Tamil. You notice that it is a typical street house in a village, with an elaborate and colorful kolam (decorative artwork drawn on the floor with flour) drawn at its threshold.

    You also notice that both Father and Grandpa are wearing their dhoties in the pancha katcham* style, the upper part of their bodies covered by a shoulder cloth known as uttarIyam. Three stripes of dazzling white vibhUti (holy ash) shine on their forehead, arms, forearms, near the wrists and on their chest (visible through their thin uttarIyam). Grandpa is wearing a large rudrAksha bead, a narrow band of gold running over its central rim. The holy threads worn across their bodies appear partially at their hips, where the uttarIyam reveals them. (I have already briefed you that these two men are great Vedic scholars with good fluency in English and Western Philosophy.)

    The elders lead us through a narrow corridor (known as 'nadai' or passage in Tamil) with two closed rooms on the left, to a wide hall and then into a courtyard* in the middle of the house. The courtyard is open to the sky at its center, which is a big square of depressed structure paved with large stones, a pair of steps leading down to it. A tuLasi mAdam (Tulsi plant set on a raised structure) and water pump with a large iron bucket of water under it are seen in the open area. The backyard of the house is seen on the opposite side, where the bath room and toilet are located, beyond which is a small garden.

    Father waits for us after getting down to the water pump in the wash area, holding a small brass pot of water for us to wash our feet and palms before we partake the meal. You thank him as you receive the pot, do the washing chore and then fill the pot with water from the bucket and extend it to me.

    Father says, "'atithi devo bhava*' is an important Hindu dharmic statement. It means 'the guest becomes a god' when he visits a home for dinner and is entitled to the kind of hospitality that would be given to a Deva (demigod). We are really blessed to have you as our guest today."

    South Indian mealware

    I can see you blush slightly at such eulogy as we ascend the steps and move to our left where four large banana leaves are spread on the floor, backed by wooden Asanas to sit on. We sit cross-legged on the wooden planks and wait for the meal to be served. While we have our seats adjacent to the wall, Father sits opposit us, with Grandpa at his left, leaving in between a passage area of over six feet wide for the women to walk over and serve the food.

    At one end of the verandah where we are seated is the kitchen. At the other is the puja room. An old woman (Grandma) is sitting on the floor, stretching her left leg and folding her right leg over it, keenly watching the dinner proceedings through her sharp eyes that knew of no eyeglasses. Her fingers move the beads of a rosary as she silently chants a mantra.

    "The posture of sitting cross-legged, you know, is known as sukhAsana in yoga", says Father. "It is the best posture for dining. It orients the biceps forward and loosens up shoulders and the upper part of the belly, making it easy to breath. It also opens the hips and the groin area and gives a good grounding for the body that allows the mind to relax. Are you comfortable sitting cross-legged there?"

    "I do some yogic exercises that include this posture, so no problem", you reply smiling, as you watch the crows busy on top of the compound wall opposite us, pecking at the sample feed.

    Non-human guests have precedence!

    "The crow is a sort of VIP for us Hindus," Father says, looking at you. "Our scriptures exhort us to feed the lower beings first before partaking a meal. The kolam artworks at our threshold is drawn using rice floor that is feed for the ants. We used to have a cow some years back. The cow and the crow were regularly fed in the mornings with the same food that we partake. The crow being the vehicle of Lord Shani, feeding it also amounts to appeasing that god."

    "What happened to the cow?" you ask.

    "We sold it off, finding it difficult to maintain it, in the midst of our Vedic activities. Named Lakshmi, she was a favourite of the entire household."

    On the left of our leaf-plate, a small bronze pot and tumbler filled with water are placed. You regard a pair of cups made of cut banana leaf, placed at the left corner. Father explains that this cup is called a dhonnai in Tamil. one of them is used to drink pAyasam, while the other is used by the diner to drop any leftovers, so it would be easy for the women to fold up and throw away the leaf-plates after the meal session. The banana leaves have already been sprinkled with water and cleaned for our convenience, though this is usually done by the diner after he takes his seat.

    Amma, serve the food!

    "Amma, you can start serving", Father calls out towards the kitchen on his left.

    Two women, wearing tucked saris (worn by traditional married Brahmin women in a style known as Madisar) appear at the entrance to the kitchen. Mother serves pAyasam to start with and places a small quantity of it at the right bottom corner of our leaf plate. Daughter follows her to serve the cucumber pacchidi (salad), placing it at the top right corner.

    As they get back to the kitchen to serve other padArtha (dishes), Father says, "A South Indian meal is served according to a bhojana kramam (food order). A little of pAyasam is served and tasted first in a feast, as it is customary to start eating with a sweet dish. Actual serving of the pAyasam as dessert will be after the course with rasam. Actually the term pAyasam indicates a delicacy prepared by cooking rice in boiling milk and adding jaggery, ghee-fried cashews, raisins, cardamom powder and two or three crystals of pacchai karpUram (menthol). What we have today is the same as what is known as Sweet Pongal, though a bit more fluid, to fit the name pAyasam. These days we have all sorts of pAyasams made by cooking lentils, vermicelli, battered rice or ravA (ground wheat). The semiA pAyasam made of milk, vermicilli and sugar is a favourite with children.

    "The pacchidi is a condiment based on yogurt (curd) and used as a sauce or dip; usually prepared with cut or mashed vegetables such as cucumber, onion or carrot or all of them mixed. Served at room temperature or chill, it has a cooling effect on the palate and serves as a foil for other spicy dishes to follow. It is called raitA in the North and is a popular condiment served with their different kinds of roties. The onion raitA is a good accompaniment for the Vegetable Pulav. For our Tamil New Year day, we have an additional special pacchidi made of the tiny neem flowers to remind us that life can sometimes be bitter in its many passing phases."

    Mother and Daughter serve three types of vegetable curries, placing them to the left of pacchidi. We notice that one is a cabbage curry with green peas and ground coconut added, another is a curry of lady's fingers (okra) and the third is a curry of finely cut stems of the banana tree.

    "Do you know that okra seeds were roasted and ground and used as a substitute for coffee whose imports were disrupted by the American Civil War in 1861?" says Father. "Okra is a favourite vegetable of everyone and can be used in curry, salad or sAmbAr or even taken raw. You might find the banana stem curry a bit difficult to swallow after masticating it, but do swallow it for it is full of fibre."

    In their next turn, Mother serves the avial to the left of the curries, and Daughter places a pair of vadais at the leftmost bottom. This is followed by appalam, placed over the vadais, two kinds of pickles, lemon and mango in the form of mAvadu, placed on the left extreme at the top and a pinch of salt below them.

    Father says, "That completes the vegetarian side dishes. We usually have a kootu which is a kind of stew of a single vegetable for our daily meal and avial in feasts. The avial is a specially enhanced form of kootu with a mixture of vegetables such as potato, yam, colacasia (sEmbu), raw banana, brinjal, beans, carrot, white pumpkin, tomato, drumstick--all boiled in separate lots and then mixed with a paste of coconut, cumin seeds, ginger, green chilies, salt and curd and seasoned with curry leaves and a few drops of coconut oil.

    "You might find the avial the spiciest and might be tempted to take sips of water in between but don't do it as that will fill up your stomach; instead take the cucumber salad as a foil."

    Daughter serves the boiled and salted lentil paste of redgram (called thoor dahl) at the middle of the bottom portion of the leaf plate and waits with a small jar of ghee. Mother serves steaming cooked rice, placing a good quantity of it near the lentil paste. Daughter pours a little melted ghee over the rice.

    Father continues his talk: "The redgram paste is an excellent source of protein. Mixing it with rice also enriches the nutrients in the rice.* In Tamilnadu they used to call us brahmins as 'paruppu thinni pAppAn' (dahl eating brahmins) because the dahl is used lavishly in our sAmbAr and rasam whereas the people of other communities usually have puLi kuzhambu with tamarind and much less or no dahl in their preparations.

    "You would notice that we don't use spoons to mix food, but use the fingers of our right hand instead..."

    "Any specific reason for that or is it just a custom dictated by tradition?" you say. "Since you have ladles, spoons may not be an alien article to you, though a fork might be."

    Father smiles. Grandpa speaks for the first time. "Spoons are not certainly alien to us Hindus! You can notice Lord Brahma, who is the Lord of the Four Vedas, holding a wooden spoon in one of his arms in his portrait! Wooden spoons are typically used to scoop and pour ghee into the rising flames in a yajna."

    Grandpa reflects for a second and continues with a sparkle in his sharp eyes. "It is a joy to eat with hands! Hands are considered our most precious organs of action. Our hands and feet are said to be the conduits of the five elements--space, air, fire, water and earth. One of the five elements courses through each finger. Through the thumb, aMguSTaH, comes space; through the forefinger, tarjanI, air; through the midfinger, madhyama, fire; through the ring finger, anAmikA, water and through the little finger, kaniSTaka, earth.

    "In Vedic tradition, we eat with our hands because the five elements within them begin to transform food and make it digestible even before it reaches the mouth. This transformation also heightens the senses so that we can smell, taste and feel the texture of the foods we are eating. We can also hear the sounds of eating. All of these sensations are a necessary prelude to beckoning agni, the fire of digestion, to ready itself for the meal to come. The Hinduism Today magazine published by the Kauai's Hindu Monastery has a good number of such revealing articles. You may read them on their Website.*"

    Starting with a prayer: parisEshaNa mantra

    "Now that the annam (rice) is served, we can commence a prayer to sanctify the food we are eating, before we actually start eating," says Granapa. "In the Vedic tradition, every act becomes an act of worship and an act of recognition of the pervasiveness of the Supreme Brahman and Its power. Thus the act of eating is an act of thanksgiving to God, typically preceded by a prayer.

    "The Hindu thanksgiving prayer is known as parisEshaNa mantra and is an important part of our bhojana vidhi. This prayer has a dual function: to offer all that we eat to God and his deputies who administer Nature; since these deputies are also present inside our bodily systems, the mantras chanted also regulate their functions.

    "parisEsaNam means sprinkling water over and around the food to santify it. My son and I shall now recite some mantras as part of this prayer. You people need not follow suit but just watch and know the meaning and philosophy behind this ritual. We will explain it as we go on."

    Grandpa and Father touch the tip of their plates with their left hand. They take some water from their pancha pAtram-uttaraNi (puja cup and small spoon) in the palm of their right hand and pour it through the fingers in drops around their leaf-plates saying the first line of the Gayatra Mantra: 'Aum bhUr bhuva suvahaH'.

    Then they sprinkle a little water over the annam, saying the remaining three lines of the Gayatri Mantra: 'tat savitur vareNyam, bhargo devasya dhImahi, dhiyo yo naH prachodayAt'.

    Father explains this act thus: "The Gayatri Mantra is addressed to the Sun, the most visible of the gods. Since he is the giver of all food, we first invoke his blessings. Remember it is he who nourishes the agni, the fire and heat necessary for digesting food."

    The elderly pandits once again encircle the food with the mantra 'satyam tvartena parishincAmi'. Father explains that this mantra means, 'O food, you are true and I encircle you with divine righteousness.' He says further that from 5 o' clock afternoon this mantra will be replaced by 'Rtam tvA satyena parishincAmi'.

    Then they pour one uttaraNi of water onto their palms and sip it saying under their breath, 'amRuthOpastharaNamasi'. Grandpa says, "This mantra is actually to be recited within the mind. amRut ApaH upastaraNam asi: upastaraNam means the act of spreading out under as a substratum. I have invoked the little amount of water I sipped now to spread within me as Amrutam or nectar and form the substratum for the food to follow. Vishnu Purana says that liquid substances should be taken at the beginning and at the end of the meal."

    Grandpa elaborates on the significance of drinking some water before and after food: "The Rishis have mentioned in the Upanishads* that realized people, while eating, before and after their meal, 'dress up' the prANa (breath of life) with water. You see, water is a purifier; it also sustains the body. Most Hindu rituals start with sipping water, an act known as Achamanam. The Yoga Shastras recommend that we should fill only half our stomach with food, a quarter with water and the rest should be air. This ideal proportion brings in spiritual and bodily health."

    prANAhuti: offering to the vital breaths

    Grandpa continues on the next act of the parisEsaNam: "After water, it is now the turn of the air or breath. Water nourishes the body to keep it healthy, but air in the form of life breath sustains the soul and holds it in the driver seat of this bodily vehicle. The life breath or prANa has five functions. prANa is the principal breath coursing through our nostrils and lungs; you can use it to control and regulate your mind and thoughts. apAna is responsible for the excretory activity. samAna circulates around the navel and plays a vital role in digestion. vyAna is diffused through the body and is responsible for circulatory activity. udAna is the wind that goes upward in respiration. These five vital airs together represent the Vaayu deity; they are also infused with agni or fire and Apas or water. Therefore we offer a morsel of annam as Ahuti to these gods, by swallowing the food without biting it. We don't bite it because it is not for personal consumption. Watch how we do it."

    Using the thumb, middle and ring fingers of their right hand in a typical mudrA of a deer-head, Father and Grandpa pick a morsel of rice mixed with ghee and throw it straight into their mouth, keeping their heads down. For each such morsel they swallow they recite a line of mantra:

    "aum prANAya svAhA | aum apAnAya svAhA | aum vyAnAya svAhA | aum udAnAya svAhA | aum samAnAya svAhA | aum bhrahmaNE svAhA |". Then they drop a little water on the left side, touch it with the ring finger of their left hand and then with that finger touch their chest, while chanting "aum brahmaNi ma AtmA-amRtatvAya".

    "This last line of the mantra says, 'May the Self be united with Brahman so it may attain immortality'," says Grandpa. "That completes the parisEsaNam prayer. We can now start eating."

    tRupti bhojanam: a satisfactory meal

    Since you are unfamiliar with the way to go about mixing and eating the mouthwatering variety of food whose fumes and aroma are linger around your nostrils, you decide to observe Grandpa and follow suit.

    Grandpa scoops up the little amount of pAyasam in the plate and eats it with a single slurp. Then he mixes the lentil paste with the required portion of rice, partioning the balance to the left. He makes a small depression in the dhal mixed rice, into which Mother pours two or three ladles of the bitter gourd sAmbAr. Kneading the mixture into convenient scoops he starts eating them one by one, adding from the side dishes to the scoops or taking the side dishes like curry in separate scoops.

    As you start preparing your own sAmbAr rice, Grandpa says, "We generally don't talk or discuss things over a meal, except for asking what one wants. The idea is that you should pay complete attention to the details and tastes of the food you are eating. However, today being a special day, I shall describe ways and things. Today's sAmbAr has the bitter gourd or melon as its thAn or chief vegetable to keep its pungency down so it may suit your palate. The bitter gourd kills any worms in the stomach. You may notice that this feast has all the six kinds of tastes. Pungency in sAmbAr and avial, sweetness in the pAyasam, astringency in the banana stem curry, bitterness in the sAmbAr, salt and tamarind diffused through most of the dishes."

    In a leisurely rhythm, Grandpa finishes his sAmbAr sAdam, emptying most of the side dishes, and waits for others to catch up. Mother and Daughter walk to and fro, asking to serve more helpings of the side dishes. They gently compel us the guests by filling up whatever side dishes we empty, while the elders have their own preferences of quantity to take.

    When everyone is ready, the second course of rice is served, followed by ladlefuls of tomato rasam. The rasam is less spicy, and tastes heavenly due to its seasoning with coriander leaves and rich tomato. We receive some of it in our palms to drink separately and then mix the rice and rasam to make the rasam sAdam which is more fluid than the sAmbAr sAdam. Then we eat them in handfuls, adding scoops of side dishes to the mix and slurping at the juicy rice from our palms. The rice mixed with rasam, true to its name and meaning as the essence, gives us an idea of the sensations of the palate and ear and the joy of eating with the hands that Grandpa spoke about in the beginning.

    By now, our plates are almost empty, except for the pickles, vada(i)s and the pinch of salt. Mother walks in to serve pAyAsam as the dessert, and fills up our dhonnais. While we prefer to drink it straight from the leafy cups, and also dip pieces of the vada(i) into the dessert and eat them, the elders pour it onto their plates and slurp it in handful scoops. As he finishes with the pAyAsam, Grandpa gives out a long, loud belch, straightening his back!

    The final course of meal is the buttermilk rice. Thick buttermilk seasoned with lemon juice, salt and curry leaves is served to make our buttermilk rice. As we eat it with bites at the pickles, specially the mAvadu, Grandpa says, "As Kanchi Paramacharya has observed, we don't serve the dessert at the end of a meal, but in the middle. The meal is concluded with the buttermilk, whose salt and sour taste is excellent for the teeth."

    Father adds to Grandpa's explanation, looking at you. "You like the mAvadu pickle made from tender little raw baby mangoes? The mango tree flowers and fructifies so lavishly, that many raw mangoes are plucked even in their infant stage, before they grow and ripen into fruits. As a seasonal pickle the mAvadu is astringent in taste. Generally astringency is good for health. We also make mango pickles and eat lots of mango fruits in the season. There is a proverb in Tamil about the mango pickles: 'The mango (pickle) will feed the rice that the mAta (mother) cannot feed.'

    When everyone has finished eating, the elders pour a little water onto their palm and sip it saying, "amRuthOpastharaNamasi". Then they pour some water in drops around the leaf and say "annadAtA sukhI bhavaH".

    Grandpa explains the meaning: "annadAtA sukhI bhavaH is a Sanskrit proverb. It means, 'May the food provider be happy and hearty!' Should we not remember all the people whose labour has gone into the food articles we consumed? This includes the people who cooked the food. As Bhisma said in Mahabarata the physical and mental health of the cooks who prepare the food influences the people who partake the food. This is the reason orthodox brahmins avoid restaurants."

    We all wash our hands and feet in the courtyard and then sit to take the tAmbUlam. We put a little of aromatic betel nuts inside our mouth, smear some lime to the back of the betel leaves after washing and cutting their tips and stalks, and munch the mix, enjoying the pungent juice that gets into our throats. Then we spit out the sediment and thoroughly gorgle and wash our mouths. Grandpa explains that the tAmbUlam is meant to stimulate digestion.

    When we take leave, the elders give us a gift of pUrNa phalam (unshorn coconut) with betel leaves and nuts and a banana fruit, placing them in a large and shiny brass plate, along with a dhoti and towel. We thank and prostrate to the elders and their wives as they stand in a row and say bye to Daughter.

    As we take leave, you say appreciatively, meaning what you say, "I now understand how Hinduism as Sanatana Dharma is not just a religion but a way of life."

    Notes:

    *atithi devo bhava - Taittiriya Upanishad:
    mAtr dEvo bhava pitr dEvO bhava AchArya dEvO bhava atithi dEvO bhava. (Let you be one who worships mother, father, teachers and guests as God.)

    *courtyard - for the type of interior courtyard described here, check: http://klkillahs.blogspot.com/2007/0...am-part-2.html (scroll down for photograph number 7).

    *nutrients in rice - http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archive...ood_rice.shtml

    *eating with hands - http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archive...001-1-19.shtml

    *sipping water before and after a meal -
    Chhandogya Upanishad 5.2.2 & Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 6.1.15

    what-is links:

    avial - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviyal
    curry - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curry
    kootu - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kootu
    Madisar - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madisar
    pacchidi - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raita_(condiment)
    pancha katcham - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancha
    pAyasam - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kheer
    ravA - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rava_(food)
    sukhAsana - http://www.nshouseofyoga.com/Pose-Sukhasana.htm

    how-to and recipe links:

    Madisar sari, how to wear - http://www.nilacharal.com/anjarai/al.../madisar1.html

    pancha katcham, how to wear - http://www.siddhashram.org/gaqmaterial.shtml#q07 (faq 7)

    avial - http://www.indiaexpress.com/cooking/avial.html
    curd rice - http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/...e_rice_15.html

    curry and kootu - http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/8826/Kootu.htm
    okra curry - http://www.spiceindiaonline.com/ladys_finger_curry

    payasam, rice - http://www.recipezaar.com/24246
    payasam, Akkara Adisal - http://grubs-up.blogspot.com/2007/03...adisal_12.html
    payasam, sweet pongal - http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/...essert_12.html
    pAyasam, vermicelli - http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/reci...ml?rsrc=search

    pacchidi, cucumber -
    http://www.top-indian-recipes.com/cu...ita-recipe.htm
    http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/..._salad_06.html

    pacchidi, general Indian -
    http://www.top-indian-recipes.com/in...ta-recipes.htm

    pickles - http://www.sysindia.com/kitchen/pickles.html
    pickles, mavadu - http://www.ammas.com/topics/Cooking/a113880.html
    tomato rasam - http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/...pe_acc_01.html
    traditional sambar - http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/...pe_acc_04.html

    Glossary:
    agrahAram - royal donation of land to Brahmins, land or donation given us. In practical usage, agrahAram refers to the street inhabited by brahmins, which surrounds a temple like a garland being the first street outside the temple, hence the name agra + hAram.

    thinnai - (Tamil) a raised sit out at the entrance of a house
    dhonnai - cup like vessel made of leaves pinned up at corners
    pAyasam - a delicacy in liquid or semi-solid form, usually made by boiling cooked rice with milk and jaggery, and then adding cashews fried in ghee, raisins and powdered cloves.
    pacchidi - a condiment based on yogurt, with a soaked vegetable such as cucumber or onion with salt and mashed green chili added for taste

  8. #28
    Join Date
    September 2006
    Age
    69
    Posts
    7,705
    Rep Power
    220

    Re: Food and what we take in

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo View Post
    From Mahabharata

    A Brahmin (priest) should abstain from meat. -- The Mahabharata Anusasana Parva, Section XCIII

    The sin of eating meat is ascribed to three causes. That sin may attach to the mind, to words, and to acts. It is for this reason that men of wisdom who are endued with penances refrain from eating meat. -- The Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Section CXIV

    Well-dressed, cooked with salt or without salt, meat, in whatever form one may take it, gradually attracts the mind and enslaves it. -- The Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Section CXIV

    Namaste,
    We have talked often of the notion of eating meat. My initial post said
    The notion of sattvic food extends beyond the the nourishment of the 6 tastes in Ayurved. The notion of 'food' and 'eating' in the ved extends to all the senses. That is, what we take in. Food is considered ahara or what is brought near to us. It has come to be called food as we ingest it.
    As I am reading the Mahabharata, and the information above offered by saidevo, I thought I would add to this. What is my purpose? It is surely not to try and convince anyone of changing their diet, but to offer what the wise say on this matter.

    In the Anusasana Parva, section CXV ( or section 115) Yudhishtrhira³ asks Bishma² a few questions.
    He says, you ( Bishma) have informed me many times that the abstention from injury is the highest religion. Yet in sraddhas, however, that are performed in honour of the Pitris, persons for their own good should make offerings of diverse kinds of meat.
    • How can meat be procured without slaying a living creature?
    • What are the faults one incurs by eating meat?
    • What are the demerits one incurs who eats meat by killing a living creature? Or of him who eats meat buying it from others?
    Bishma then says, Listen to me O scion of the Kuru race, what the merit is that attaches to the abstention from me.
    • Those high souled persons who desire beauty, faultlessness of limbs, long life, understanding, mental and physical strength, and memory should abstain from acts of injury.
    • The merit by a person with steadfastness of vow adores the deities every month in horse sacrifices¹ is equal to him that discards honey and meat.
    • The seven rishis, the Valakhilyasm and the rishis that drink the rays of the sun applaud the abstention from meat.
    • Bishma continues and says, Narada muni has said that the man who wishes to increase his own flesh by eating the flesh of other creatures meets with calamity.
    • The man who has eaten meat then gives it up acquires merit by such an act that is so great that a study of all the vedas or a performance of all the sacrifices cannot bestow its like ( or its equal).
    • The period of life is shortened of persons who slaughter living creatures or cause them to be slaughtered ( i.e. demand for meat).
    • One should never eat meat of animals not dedicated in sacrifices and that are slain for no reason.
    I thought those were the interesting parts... there is more that is offered, yet I did not what to burden the reader with a zillion points. One can read this section for themselves and extract the value as they see fit.

    pranams


    1. Ashvamedha
    2. The bhAghavataM says that there are only twelve men in the whole world who know the ins and outs of dharma in all its subtlety. These twelve are: BrahmA, the Creator; Narada, the roving sage; Lord Siva; Lord SubrahmaNya; the sage Kapila; Manu the law-giver; the boy-devotee Prahlada; King Janaka; Bhishma; King Bali; the boy-sage Suka, the reciter of the bhAgavatam; and Yama, the Lord of Death and Dispenser of Justice.
    Thus Bhishma happens to be one of the twelve most knowledgeable people on dharma. It was fitting therefore that when Yudhishtira, at the end of the mahA-bhArata war wanted to know all the subtleties of all the different types of dharma, he was asked to go to Bhishma by Lord Krishna Himself.
    3. Yudhishtrhira was the eldest Pandava, son of King Pandu and Queen Kunti if we do not count Karna who was born first. His name is most excellent - it means yudhi or 'in battle' + sthira or 'steady, calm, unperturbed'; so Yudhishtrhira is he that is steady or unperturbed in battle.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  9. #29
    Join Date
    August 2006
    Age
    70
    Posts
    3,162
    Rep Power
    1912

    Re: Food and what we take in

    God's Pharmacy
    Posted By: vcx729 Posting Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 4:26:26 PM CST
    http://www.vicina.info/blog/view.htm...1817547C?id=15
    (check this link for pictures of the vegetables)

    A sliced carrot looks like the human eye, the pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...and YES science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

    A tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

    Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

    A walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

    Kidney beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

    Celery, bok choy, rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

    Eggplant, avocadoes and pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? .... It takes exactly 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

    Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm cells to overcome male sterility.

    Sweet potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

    Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

    Grapefruits, oranges, and other citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

    Onions look like body cells. Today's research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    September 2006
    Age
    69
    Posts
    7,705
    Rep Power
    220

    Re: Food and what we take in

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo View Post
    God's Pharmacy
    A sliced carrot looks like the human eye, the pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...and YES science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.
    Namaste Saidevo,
    thanks... most interesting. As Ginseng looks like the body ( in toto):

    Ginseng root has been used for thousands of years to improve the overall health of the human being.


    • Ginseng was recommended for enlightening the mind and increasing wisdom.
    • Ginseng was taken as a tonic for the whole body, and believed to cure lethargy, arthritis, impotence, senility, and many other conditions.
    • Ginseng is known to be an adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances that assist the body to restore itself to health
    • Ginseng due to its adaptogens effects is widely used to lower cholesterol, increase energy and endurance, reduce fatique and effects of stress and prevent infections.
    • Ginseng appears to help people with diabetes. A limited study performed in March 2000 at the University of Toronto showed that ginseng could lower blood sugar 20% more than placebo.
    1. Ginseng info from this site: http://www.chinese-herbs.org/ginseng...f-ginseng.html
    Last edited by yajvan; 24 March 2008 at 03:46 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •